REFLECTION: December can be an exciting time of the year, if you are able to see past the overwhelming pressure of holiday preparations, and find that celebratory, appreciative place of mind.
There’s something satisfying about turning that final page on the wall hung calendar. Another 12 months behind us. Another year lived, complete with unexpected twists and turns.
It’s the time of year when journalists feel compelled to look back at the year in review, creating top 10 lists of everything you can imagine – people, events, disasters, and delights. Christmas greetings and letters often take the same form – a year in the life of Family Smith.
There’s an opportunity here for each one of us to cast a glance over 2009 and the kind of year it has been for us.
ACTION: I invite you to carve out a quiet moment sometime in the next couple of weeks. Pour your favorite beverage. Grab a pen and paper.
Scratch this title at the top of the page: “My 2009 – A Positive Review”. Think back over the experiences of the year. Generate a list that includes: good things, delights, challenges met, experiences enjoyed, and memories treasured from the last 12 months.
If you like, do the same for the families, teams, and organizations of which you are a part. (By the way, one of the items on my list is all the encouraging messages I’ve received from you – my Pause readers. I’m grateful for your generosity in sharing your reactions, ideas and experiences.)
As you jot things down on your list, you may be tempted to create another list that features: unfulfilled intentions, discarded goals, missed opportunities, sorry disappointments, and lingering regrets. Resist the temptation. Leave the negatives for another time.
Simply enjoy the positives of 2009, and invite those you spend time with over the holidays to do the same. Life is way too short to ignore the ups and be preoccupied by the downs.
PS – If you are in a sharing mood, I’d love to hear a sampling of positives from your Year In Review. I’ll gladly compile a list to share with other Pause readers. It would be a great boost to jumpstart the new year.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” – Hal Borland
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Next year, 2010, will begin the tenth year of Pause messages. I plan to continue the messages in writing, but I’ve also been experimenting with other forms of delivery – namely video.
If you’re interested in taking a peak at my first foray into the world of You Tube, you’ll find last week’s message, Shifting Into Neutral, at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_hG0B341Tw
Take a look. Let me know what you like or don’t like about the approach and production values, how you could see yourself using the videos, and whether you would like more video versions in the new year.
READERS WRITE: The final words of the year belong to reader, JK, who writes in response to the Pause message, Defining Moments:
Nietzsche wrote: “What does not destroy me makes me stronger.” How true of all of life’s woes, or as you put it so succinctly – defining moments.
If you can put yourself back on the horse after being thrown, pull yourself up after a series of calamities such as the death of a loved one, or loss of a job, you find that somehow you emerge stronger. And, as a bonus, you can handle the next setback with more equanimity. You are revitalized with a new sense of self. You also learn that scars can be something to be proud of because they show that you took a chance and you came through.
Not only loss and failure define us. Think of all the moments when you were at one with yourself and the world. These moments also shape and mold us. As we enter this festive season, take a moment to reflect on all the events that have changed us, defined who we are and where we are going.